Call for Panel: XIX Biennial IASC Conference 2023

The Commons We Want: Between Historical Legacies and Future Collective Actions

Nairobi, Kenya, June 19 – 24, 2023

We are pleased to announce the Call for Panel for the XIX Biennial IASC Conference 2023. The IASC has been shaping the debate on alternative development pathways by way of putting the commons center stage. In times of profound crises, we have seen states being caught up in emergency mode. This unfolds, among others, in a tendency to respond within national borders, and it has brought the importance of building genuine resilience that leaves no one behind.

In all its diversity, the African continent is particularly exposed to shocks, and the risk of losing decades of development accomplishments is conspicuous. Therefore, in the context of the pandemic, building resilience for a broad range of society has become ever more pertinent, but the framework conditions to do so remain under-discussed. The global IASC conference will open up a space to mobilize this very debate. Taking place at the University of Nairobi, co-organized with the Centre for Integrated Training and Research in ASAL Development CETRAD, the University of Bern (Institute of Social Anthropology ISA, Centre for Development and Environment CDE), the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH, Basel, Switzerland), and the Swiss Society for African Studies (SSAS), the discourse on commons and commoning will be prominently staged so as to broadly explore global contributions of the concept of the commons to build resilience in and beyond crises.

The conference provides a much-needed link to future-oriented research and practice perspectives with a look back, since many legal and structural legacies predetermine possible development pathways. This reflection shall help to position the commons debate in the context of the Agenda 2030 and contribute to making the transformation towards the SDGs a more commons-oriented and participatory endeavor.

Panel submissions are open from July 15 to September 1, 2022. The panel submission can be made on:Panel Proposal Submission.

Aim & Scope

We want to stress the topic of a participatory definition of the commons in different contexts and to raise awareness of the long history of colonialization and globalization processes influencing today’s commons and commoners. At the same time, today’s challenges demand more conducive thinking on collective action in the future at different levels and scales. These reflections led to the following 11 sub-themes for Panels on global issues, whose detailed description can be viewed on the website:

  1. Our common SDGs?
  2. Commons towards urban transformation
  3. Indigenous peoples and globalisation
  4. Commons between colonial legacies and the Anthropocene
  5. Modelling and multi-methods approaches in polycentric commons systems
  6. The drama of the grabbed commons
  7. Global health commons between pandemics and glocal health
  8. Opportunities and challenges of digital commons
  9. Conservation, environmental justice, and the commons
  10. Local institution building and radical futures for the commons
  11. Advances in Frameworks and Theory